Greenland Ruby Has Shut Down Its Mine
The company said operations have been on hold since January because the mine wasn’t meeting production expectations.
GemGuide, which was first to report the news in the trade, published a story back in August quoting Greenland Ruby Chief Commercial Officer Hayley Henning, who said production at the site hadn’t been meeting expectations for the past year or so.
Michele Billam, the company’s chief sales and merchandising officer told JCK last week that mining operations had been suspended for care and maintenance since January.
Henning referred all questions about the reports to Greenland Ruby CEO Arnt Erick Rørnes, who did not respond to an email request for comment by deadline.
Greenland newspaper Sermitsiaq reported last month the mine had a debt of 509 million Danish kroner, which is about $73 million at current exchange rates.
The company has closed offices and let go of employees.
The mine laid off 30 workers at the beginning of the year and later let go of the remaining seven, according to Sermitsiaq.
In a 2017 National Jeweler interview with Henning, she said life of mine for Aappaluttoq was expected to be about nine years.
She also said exploration identified two other potential sites for ruby mining, but at that time, the company was “not really there yet” in terms of moving forward at the sites.
Billam told JCK that exploratory mining had begun at two sites for which the company holds licenses.
In addition to exploration, there is still rough material to be processed and ruby inventory is still stocked in Thailand, but “sales have been very low,” according to Billam.
Greenland Ruby had been producing rubies as well as pink sapphires at the Aappaluttoq ruby mining site in the southwest region of Greenland since 2017. It’s the country’s first corundum mine.
The area originally was being mined by True North Gems, but following its announcement of voluntary bankruptcy in September 2016, the mining license for the Aappaluttoq Ruby Mine was awarded to LNS Greenland, an investor in the project.
Greenland Ruby A/S, its sister company, was established in October 2016 to take over the exploration license and handle the promotion and sales of the mine’s output.
A 2019 GemGuide article by Stuart M. Robertson, GIA GG, said Greenland Ruby’s acquisition of the necessary permits to export and market gemstones allowed commercial quantities of these rubies and sapphires to enter the international gem trade.
He said a combination of the stones’ affordable price point, which started at below $100 per carat, along with their mine-to-market traceability, made Greenland rubies attractive to the market.
In January of this year, Greenland Ruby announced it had appointed Rørnes, who was previously working with parent company Leonhard Nislen & Sonner AS (LNS), as its new CEO.
He succeeded Magnus Kibsgaard.
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